Skip to main content

Full text of "cummings"

JUL PATHS 




SflfCTfD POETW AHD MTWf 
of & E, «« 

EDiT£D By ftArMOHD SOOLAKD, JK> 
$ tfASSAHDKA SoULAKD 



Thank you for downloading this Scriptor Press 

tide! Please visit Scriptor Press online for more 

great literary titles and other media. 



Portland, O r e g o k 




Scriptor Press 



All Paths Lead Where: 

Selected Poetry and Artwork 

ofE. E. Cummings 



edited by Raymond Soulard, Jr. 
& Kassandra Soulard 




Number Forty-five 



All Paths Lead Where: 

Selected Poetry and Artwork 

ofE. E. Cummings 

For seekers of truth: 

look forward, look back, 
Burning Man Books is hok bgyond> 

an imprint of close your eyes and 

Scriptor Press ^ in 

2442 NW Market Street-#363 

Seattle, Washington 98107 

cenacle@mindspring. com 

www.geocities.com/scriptorpress 



This volume was composed 
in the AGaramond font 
in PageMaker 7.0 on the 
Macintosh G4 computer 



^ 




s' 




in time of daffodils(who know 
the goal of living is to grow) 
forgetting why,remember how 

in time of lilacs who proclaim 
the aim of waking is to dream, 
remember so(forgetting seem) 

in time of roses(who amaze 
our now and here with paradise) 
forgetting ifremember yes 

in time of all sweet things beyond 
whatever mind may comprehend, 
remember seek(forgetting find) 

and in a mystery to be 

(when time from time shall set us free) 

forgetting me, remember me 



All Paths Lead Where 



may i be gay 

like every lark 
who lifts his life 

from all the dark 



who wings his why 

beyond because 
and sings an if 

of day to yes 



E. E. CUMMINGS 



l(a 

le 
af 
fa 



s) 
one 

1 

iness 



All Paths Lead Where 



one 

t 

hi 

s 

snowflake 

(a 
li 
ght 

in 

g) 

is upon a gra 

v 
es 

t 

one 



8 • E. E. CUMMINGS 



i thank You God for most this amazing 
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees 
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything 
which is natural which is infinite which is yes 

(i who have died am alive again today 
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth 
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay 
great happening illimitably earth) 

how should tasting touching hearing seeing 
breathing any — lifted from the no 
of all nothing — human merely being 
doubt unimaginable You? 

(now the ears of my ears awake and 
now the eyes of my eyes are opened) 



All Paths Lead Where 



the wind is a Lady with 
bright slender eyes(who 

moves) at sunset 

and who — touches — the 

hills without any reason 

(i have spoken with this 

indubitable and green person "Are 

You the wind?" "Yes" "why do you touch flowers 

as if they were unalive,as 

if They were ideas?" "because,sir 
things which in my mind blossom will 
stumble beneath a clumsiest disguise,appear 
capable of fragility and indecision 

— do not suppose these 

without any reason and otherwise 

roses and mountains 

different from the i am who wanders 

imminently across the renewed world" 
to me said the)wind being A lady in a green 
dress,who;touches:the fields 
(at sunset) 



10 



E. E. CUMMINGS 



if the 

green 

opens 

a little a 

little 

was 

much and much 

is 

too if 

the green robe 
o 

P 
e 

n 

s 

and two are 

wildstrawberries 



All Paths Lead Where 



11 



the 
sky 
was 
can dy lu 
minous 

edible 
spry 

pinks shy 
lemons 

greens coo 1 choc 
olate 
s. 

un der, 

a lo 
co 
mo 

tive s pout 



ing 



VI 

o 
lets 



12 • E. E. Cummings 



when god lets my body be 

From each brave eye shall sprout a tree 
fruit that dangles therefrom 

the purpled world will dance upon 
Between my lips which did sing 

a rose shall beget the spring 

that maidens whom passion wastes 

will lay between their little breasts 
My strong fingers beneath the snow 

Into strenuous birds shall go 
my love walking in the grass 

their wings will touch with her face 
and all the while shall my heart be 

With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea 



All Paths Lead Where 



13 




14 • E. E. CUMMINGS 



being to timelessness as it's to time, 
love did no more begin than love will end; 
where nothing is to breathe to stroll to swim 
love is the air the ocean and the land 

(do lovers suffer?all divinities 
proudly descending put on deathful flesh: 
are lovers glad?only their smallest joy's 
a universe emerging from a wish) 

love is the voice under all silences, 

the hope which has no opposite in fear; 

the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: 

the truth more first than sun more last than star 

— do lovers love?why then to heaven with hell. 
Whatever sages say and fools,all's well 



All Paths Lead Where 



15 



how dark and single,where he ends,the earth 
(whose texture feels of pride and loneliness 
alive like some dream giving more than all 
life's busy little dyings may possess) 

how sincere large distinct and natural 
he comes to his disappearance;as a mind 
full without fear might faithfully lie down 
to so much sleep they only understand 

enormously which fail — look:with what ease 
that bright how plural tide measures her guest 
(as critics will upon a poet feast) 

meanwhile this ghost goes under,his drowned girth 
are mountains;and beyond all hurt of praise 
the unimaginable night not known 



16 • E. E. Cummings 



out of bigg 

est the knownun 

barn 

s 

on tiptoe darkne 

ss 

boyandgirl 
come 
into a s 
unwor 

Id 2 to 



be blesse 


dby 


floating 




are 




shadows of ove 


r us-you 


-me a 


n 




g 




e 





All Paths Lead Where 



17 



since feeling is first 
who pays any attention 
to the syntax of things 
will never wholly kiss you; 

wholly to be a fool 

while Spring is in the world 

my blood approves, 

and kisses are a better fate 

than wisdom 

lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry 

— the best gesture of my brain is less than 

your eyelids' flutter which says 

we are for each othenthen 
laugh,leaning back in my arms 
for life's not a paragraph 

And death i think is no parenthesis 



18 



E. E. CUMMINGS 



as freedom is a breakfastfood 
or truth can live with right and wrong 
or molehills are from mountains made 
— long enough and just so long 
will being pay the rent of seem 
and genius please the talentgang 
and water most encourage flame 

as hatracks into peachtrees grow 

or hopes dance best on bald men's hair 

and every finger is a toe 

and any courage is a fear 

— long enough and just so long 

will the impure think all things pure 

and hornets wail by children stung 

or as the seeing are the blind 
and robins never welcome spring 
nor flatfolk prove their world is round 
nor dingsters die at break of dong 
and common's rare and millstones flat 
— long enough and just so long 
tomorrow will not be too late 

worms are the words but joy's the voice 
down shall go which and up come who 
breasts will be breasts thighs will be thighs 
deeds cannot dream what dreams can do 
— time is a tree(this life one leaf) 
but love is the sky and i am for you 
just so long and long enough 



All Paths Lead Where 



19 



"^ 







^a 



v 

i 0% 





^Ot 






20 • E. E. CUMMINGS 



when faces called flowers float out of the ground 
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having — 
but keeping is downward and doubting and never 
— it's april(yes,april;my darling)it's spring! 
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly 
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be 
(yes the mountains are dancing together) 

when every leaf opens without any sound 
and wishing is having and having is giving — 
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense 
— alive;we're alive,dear:it's(kiss me now)spring! 
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he 
now the little fish quiver so you and so i 
(now the mountains are dancing, the mountains) 

when more than was lost has been found has been found 

and having is giving and giving is living — 

but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing 

— it's spring(all our night becomes day)o,it's spring! 

all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky 

all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea 

(all the mountains are dancing;are dancing) 



All Paths Lead Where 



21 



enter no(silence is the blood whose flesh 
is singing)silence:but unsinging. In 
spectral such hugest how hush,one 

dead leaf stirring makes a crash 

— far away (as far as alive) lies 

april; and i breathe-move-and-seem some 

perpetually roaming whylessness — 

autumn has gone:will winter never come? 

o come,terrible anonymity;enfold 
phantom me with the murdering minus of cold 
— open this ghost with millionary knives of wind- 
scatter his nothing all over what angry skies and 

gently 

(very whiteness: absolute peace, 
never imaginable mystery) 

descend 



22 



E. E. CUMMINGS 



a wind has blown the rain away and blown 
the sky away and all the leaves away 
and the trees stand. I think i too have known 
autumn too long 

(and what have you to say 
wind wind wind — did you love somebody 
and have you the petal of somewhere in your heart 
pinched from dumb summer? 

O crazy daddy 
of death dance cruelly for us and start 

the last leaf whirling in the final brain 

of air!)Let us as we have seen see 

doom's integration a wind has blown the rain 

away and the leaves and the sky and the 
trees stand: 

the trees stand. The trees, 
suddenly wait against the moon's face. 



All Paths Lead Where 



23 



SONG 




but we've the may 
(for you are in love 
and i am) to sing, 
my darling:while 
old worlds and young 
(big little and all 
worlds) merely have 
the must to say 

and the when to do 

is exactly theirs 

(dull worlds or keen; 

big little and all) 

but lose or win 

(come heaven,come hell) 

precisely ours 

is the now to grow 

it's love by whom 
(my beautiful friend) 
the gift to live 
is without until: 
but pitiful they've 
(big little and all) 
no power beyond 
the trick to seem 



>>> 



24 • E. E. CUMMINGS 



All Paths Lead Where 



25 



their joys turn woes 
and right goes wrong 
(dim worlds or bright; 
big little and all) 
whereas (my sweet) 
our summer in fall 
and in winter our spring 
is the yes of yes 

love was and shall 
be this only truth 
(a dream of a deed, 
born not to die) 
but worlds are made 
of hello and goodbye: 
glad sorry or both 
(big little and all) 



26 



E. E. CUMMINGS 



the first of all my dreams was of 
a lover and his only love, 
strolling slowly(mind in mind) 
through some green mysterious land 

until my second dream begins — 
the sky is wild with leaves;which dance 
and dancing swoop(and swooping whirl 
over a frightened boy and girl) 

but that mere fury soon became 
silence: in hunger always whom 
two tiny selves sleep (doll by doll) 
motionless under magical 

foreverfully falling snow. 
And then this dreamer wept:and so 
she quickly dreamed a dream of spring 
— how you and i are blossoming 



All Paths Lead Where 



27 



my love is building a building 
around you,a frail slippery 
house,a strong fragile house 
(beginning at the singular beginning 

of your smile) a skilful uncouth 
prison,a precise clumsy 
prison(building thatandthis into Thus, 
Around the reckless magic of your mouth) 

my love is building a magic,a discrete 
tower of magic and(as i guess) 

when Farmer Death(whom fairies hate)shall 

crumble the mouth-flower fleet 
He'll not my tower, 

laborious,casual 



where the surrounded smile 



han 



g s 



breathless 






E. E. Cummings 



sometimes i am alive because with 
me her alert treelike body sleeps 
which i will feel slowly sharpening 
becoming distinct with love slowly, 
who in my shoulder sinks sweetly teeth 
until we shall attain the Springsmelling 
intense large togethercoloured instant 

the moment pleasantly frightful 

when,her mouth suddenly rising,wholly 
begins with mine fiercely to fool 
(and from my thighs which shrug and pant 
a murdering rain leapingly reaches the 
upward singular deepest flower which she 
carries in a gesture of her hips) 



All Paths Lead Where 



29 




30 • E. E. CUMMINGS 



b 

et 

wee 
n no 
w dis 
appear 
ing mou 
ntains a 
re drifti 
ng christi 
an how swee 
tliest bell 
s and we'l 

I be you' 

II be i' 
11 be? 
? ther 
efore 
let' 
sk 

is 
s 



All Paths Lead Where 



31 



"next to of course god america i 
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh 
say can you see by the dawn's early my 
country 'tis of centuries come and go 
and are no more what of it we should worry 
in every language even deafanddumb 
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry 
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum 
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut- 
iful than these heroic happy dead 
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter 
they did not stop to think they died instead 
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?" 

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water 



32 • E. E. Cummings 



lis 
-ten 

you know what i mean when 

the first guy drops you know 

everybody feels sick or 

when they throw in a few gas 

and the oh baby shrapnel 

or my feet getting dim freezing or 

up to your you know what in water or 

with the bugs crawling right all up 

all everywhere over you all me everyone 

that's been there knows what 

i mean a god damned lot of 

people don't and never 

never 

will know, 

they don't want 



to 
no 



All Paths Lead Where 



33 



Me up at does 

out of the floor 
quietly Stare 

a poisoned mouse 



still who alive 

is asking "What 
have i done that 

You wouldn't have 



34 • E. E. Cummings 



suppose 

Life is an old man carrying flowers on his head. 

young death sits in a cafe 

smiling,a piece of money held between 

his thumb and first finger 

(i say "will he buy flowers" to you 
and "Death is young 
life wears velour trousers 
life tottersjife has a beard" i 

say to you who are silent. — "Do you see 

Life?he is there and here, 

or that, or this 

or nothing or an old man 3 thirds 

asleep,on his head 

flowers,always crying 

to nobody something about les 

roses les bluets 

yes, 

will He buy? 
Les belles bottes — oh hear 
,pas cheres") 

and my love slowly answered I think so. But 
I think I see someone else 

there is a ladywhose name is Afterwards 
she is sitting beside young death,is slender; 
likes flowers. 



All Paths Lead Where 



35 



"right here the other night something 
odd occurred" charlie confessed 
(halting) "a tall strong young 
finelooking fellow,dressed 

well but not over,stopped 

me by 'could you spare three cents please' 

— why guesswho nearly leaped 

out of muchtheworseforwear shoes 

'fair friend' we enlightened this stranger 
'some people have all the luck; 
since our hero is quite without change,you're 
going to get one whole buck' 

not a word this stranger replied — 
but as one whole buck became his 
(believe it or don't) by god 
down this stranger went on both knees" 

green turns red(the roar 
of traffic collapses: through 
west ninth slowly cars pour 
into sixth avenue) 

"then" my voice marvels "what happened" 
as everywhere red goes green 
— groping blank sky with a blind 
stare,he whispers "i ran" 



36 



E. E. CUMMINGS 



may i feel said he 
(ill squeal said she 
just once said he) 
it's fun said she 

(may i touch said he 
how much said she 
a lot said he) 
why not said she 

(let's go said he 
not too far said she 
what's too far said he 
where you are said she) 

may i stay said he 
(which way said she 
like this said he 
if you kiss said she 

may i move said he 

is it love said she) 

if you're willing said he 

(but you're killing said she 

but it's life said he 
but your wife said she 
now said he) 
ow said she 



>>> 



All Paths Lead Where 



37 



(tiptop said he 
don't stop said she 
oh no said he) 
go slow said she 

(cccome?said he 
ummm said she) 
you're divinelsaid he 
(you are Mine said she) 



wanta 
spendsix 

dollars Kid 



2 for the room 



and 



four for the girl 

thewoman wasnot 



quite Fourteen 

Centuries 

repeated 
well 



till she smiled 



then 



she 
soft ly 



whadyas ay 



dear 
wan 
taspend 



six 



Dollars 






E. E. CUMMINGS 



All Paths Lead Where • 39 



'i , f * . ); t ) ft 




now does our world descend 
the path to nothingness 
(cruel now cancels kind; 
friends turn to enemies) 
therefore lament,my dream 
and don a doer's doom 

create is now contrive; 
imagined, merely know 
(freedom:what makes a slave) 
therefore,my lifejie down 
and more by most endure 
all that you never were 

hide,poor dishonoured mind 
who thought yourself so wise; 
and much could understand 
concerning no and yes: 
if they've become the same 
it's time you unbecame 

where climbing was and bright 
is darkness and to fall 
(now wrong's the only right 
since brave are cowards all) 
therefore despair,my heart 
and die into the dirt 

but from this endless end 
of briefer each our bliss — 
where seeing eyes go blind 
(where lips forget to kiss) 
where everything's nothing 
— arise,my soul;and sing 



40 • E. E. Cummings 



All Paths Lead Where 



41 



wild(at our first) beasts uttered human words 

— our second coming made stones sing like birds- 

but o the starhushed silence which our third's 



42 • E. E. Cummings 



you shall above all things be glad and young. 
For if you're young,whatever life you wear 

it will become you;and if you are glad 
whatever 's living will yourself become. 
Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need: 
i can entirely her only love 

whose any mystery makes every man's 

flesh put space on;and his mind take off time 

that you should ever think,may god forbid 
and(in his mercy)your true lover spare: 
for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave 
called progress,and negation's dead undoom. 

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing 
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance 



All Paths Lead Where 



43 



love is more thicker than forget 
more thinner than recall 
more seldom than a wave is wet 
more frequent than to fail 

it is most mad and moonly 
and less it shall unbe 
than all the sea which only 
is deeper than the sea 

love is less always than to win 
less never than alive 
less bigger than the least begin 
less littler than forgive 

it is most sane and sunly 
and more it cannot die 
than all the sky which only 
is higher than the sky 



44 • E. E. Cummings 



may my heart always be open to little 
birds who are the secrets of living 
whatever they sing is better than to know 
and if men should not hear them men are old 

may my mind stroll about hungry 

and fearless and thirsty and supple 

and even if it's Sunday may i be wrong 

for whenever men are right they are not young 

and may myself do nothing usefully 

and love yourself so more than truly 

there's never been quite such a fool who could fail 

pulling all the sky over him with one smile 



All Paths Lead Where 



45 



guilt is the cause of more disauders 
than history's most obscene marorders 



46 • E. E. Cummings 



seeker of truth 

follow no path 

all paths lead where 

truth is here 



All Paths Lead Where 



47